Ted Cruz cast himself as the only alternative to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump during a victory speech amid the Super Tuesday contests.
The Texas senator won two states on Tuesday — Oklahoma and Texas — and is pushing forward in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Billionaire real-estate mogul Trump is currently the party’s frontrunner for the nomination.
“Tonight was another decision point, and the voters have spoken,” Cruz said. “Tomorrow morning, we have a choice. So long as the field remains divided, Donald Trump’s path to the nomination remains more likely. And that would be a disaster for Republicans, for conservatives, and for the nation.”
For his part, Trump disputed the notion that he’s a divisive candidate and told supporters during a victory speech that the Republican Party would be more unified with him winning the nomination.
But Cruz is positioning himself as the obvious alternative candidate who can beat Trump, pointing to his Tuesday victories and his win in last month’s Iowa caucuses.
“After tonight, we’ve seen that our campaign is the only campaign that has beaten, that can beat, and that will beat Donald Trump,” Cruz said.
He also called on other Republican candidates who haven’t yet won any states to drop out of the race to unify the party against Trump.
“Republicans, together we have a choice,” Cruz said. “We are blessed with a deep, talented, honorable field. For the candidates who have not yet won a state, who have not racked up significant delegates, I ask you to prayerfully consider our coming together, united.”
Cruz emphasised that he’s the only one who has beaten Trump. So far, Trump has won nine states — New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Virginia — and is projected to win more Tuesday night. Cruz has won three states — Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Sen. Marco Rubio looked strong in Minnesota, where he was leading at the time Cruz gave his speech. And Ohio Gov. John Kasich was running stronger than expected in Vermont.
But Cruz seemed confident that he could beat Trump if other Republican candidates got out of the way.
“Head-to-head, our candidate beats Donald Trump resoundingly,” Cruz said. “But for that to happen, we must come together. And the Republican primary voters in upcoming states — you too have a choice.”
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